Hi, Rachel here to share some of my favorite Bible journaling techniques! I hope that at least one or more inspires you and enriches your devotional time.
From the start of Advent through the new year, schedules are busy. There are parties, presents, and planning to do. Adding Bible journaling to your already full days might seem impossible.
I’m here to tell you it’s not. Journaling can be as simple and easy as you want it to be. The trick is finding what works best for you and your schedule.
There’s no better time than Advent to refresh your walk with the Lord. Bible journaling is a great way to do that.
In this post, I’m sharing five simple ways to practice Bible and prayer journaling. Remember that these ideas are for inspiration, not something you have to copy exactly.
All supplies used are from Paper House Productions’ Goldmine and Coco Bible Journaling Kit
What is Bible Journaling?
Bible journaling is meditating on the Word through writing and sometimes art. It helps you slow down and reflect on a specific verse or passage. Some people do this in their Bible itself, while others prefer to use a separate journal.
What is Prayer Journaling?
Prayer journaling is like Bible journaling, except you write prayers rather than verses. This helps you focus while praying and gives you a beautiful record of past requests to look back on.
5 Ways to Bible or Prayer Journal
1. S.O.A.P. Method
S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. It’s a method to study a passage or verse in more detail.
- S - First, select a scripture. I like to write it out to reference throughout my journaling session.
- O - Second, write down what you observe about the verse. What stands out to you? Do you notice any ties to other scriptures? Is there anything interesting you’d like to look into more?
- A - Third, how can you apply this scripture to your life today? Is there a practical application or is God trying to remind you of a truth you’ve forgotten? Write it down, even if you’re not certain. Questions are okay!
- P - Forth, write a short prayer about the scripture. Ask for help applying it or thank God for what it says to you today
The only thing you need for this method is a piece of paper and something to write with. But I decided to use some paper and stickers to decorate my page for fun.
I also used a colored pen to add highlights and write out headers. An optional step, but it brings a little more color to the page.
2. Write Out a Verse or Passage
One of my favorite ways to meditate on a specific piece of scripture is by writing it out by hand and making it into a piece of art. The Word of God is beautiful and illustrating a verse reminds us of that.
It also gives us a chance to think about what the verse or passage is saying. Meditate on where it’s found in the Bible, the context surrounding it, and any metaphors or allegorical language it uses.
I find this journaling practice works best with a single verse or shorter passage. Then I focus on making it beautiful rather than worrying about how to fit it on the page.
Psalm 23 is one of my favorites, so I chose part of it for this piece. I framed the passage with a colorful piece of paper and decorated the page with cutouts and a gel pen.
I also used some faux calligraphy to highlight certain parts of the passage. If you do this, I suggest starting in pencil so you can play around with word placement before going in with a pen.
3. Create a Bujo Prayer Spread
Remembering all your prayer requests is difficult sometimes. Including a prayer spread in your bullet journal is a great way to solve this.
While you’re at it, include sections for praise and gratitude to God. Giving thanks is vital, and we often forget this too! Adding these sections to your spread helps remind you to praise God daily.
I used bookmark-shaped ephemera to make sections for requests, praise, and gratitude. I also included a lyric from Jeremy Camp’s “Walk by Faith” as a reminder to do just that.
I like my spreads to be colorful and decorative, so I added some ripped paper and stickers to the page. Later I can look back at the pages I’ve decorated, giving me more opportunities to identify and praise God for the things He’s doing in my life.
4. Write a Prayer
I don’t know about you, but I struggle with getting distracted while praying. That’s where keeping a prayer journal comes in handy. Writing a prayer on paper helps keep you focused and physicalizes the act of praying.
Writing a prayer feels like you’re writing a letter to God. Which in a way, you are. It helps free my thoughts and inspires me to pour my heart out to God differently. Don’t forget to date your prayers so in the future you can look back and see how God answered your prayers. And it’s never too late to add a note, sticker, or embellishment to an older entry in your Bible journal as a form of praise!
There are a few ways you can write prayers. You can write it like a letter to God. You could choose a Biblical prayer, like the Lord’s Prayer, and write it out in your own words. Or you can use a Biblical prayer or verse to inspire your words.
I kept this prayer spread simple so the focus could be on the prayer itself. I chose a verse to inspire my prayer and wrote it down at the top for future reference.
For me, the decoration on this spread helps highlight the prayer. But decorations are optional. The important part is the prayer itself.
5. Follow the Liturgical Calendar
The church year starts at Advent. Adding a liturgical calendar to your journal can help guide your Bible reading and praying in the coming year.
A liturgical calendar is how Christians mark different seasons, feast days, and holidays. It guides Scripture readings and the colors of the church decorations. Not all churches use one, but it’s a wonderful tool.
The first half of the calendar follows Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. The second half of the year is ordinary time, where you study the rest of Scripture. To learn more about the calendar, check out this post by Faithward.
To keep things simple, I printed out an illustration of the calendar and pasted it into my journal. I added some ripped paper and stickers so the page wouldn’t look empty. Now I’ll be able to reference the calendar throughout the year to guide my prayers.
* * * * *
Bible journaling and prayer journaling don’t have to be complicated to be effective. Start simple and work your way up from there. The most important part of your journaling practice is drawing close to God through the holidays and beyond.